FDOT considers renting out SunRail trains for special events - FOX 35 News Orlando

FDOT considers renting out SunRail trains for special events

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LONGWOOD, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) - In a response to consumer demand for more night and weekend services, the Florida Department of Transportation is considering how to allow rental of SunRail trains during nights and weekends. FDOT Spokeswoman Jessica Keane says at least one city has already asked about extra service.

"Peak times are in the morning and the evening, but we do have a special interest on special excursion trains. For example, the City of Longwood requested it for a special event they are hosting."

The cost of the train is based on a flat fee for the conductors, maintenance, cleaning, and staffing.  For weeknight service, it would be a flat fee of $1,400. For the weekends, it rises to almost $2,800. Jessica Keane says you also have to pay for fuel to the cost of just over $1,000 per round trip between DeBary and Sand Lake Road. The cars use about 250 to 300 gallons on a round-trip.

"The weekend service is a little bit more than the weekday service, but you can have that option to use it for both. So it would probably be after hours on a weekday, but you have to pay that flat fee for the weekday or the weekend, and then the cost of gas."

Cities like Longwood, Winter Park, and Orlando may consider using the service when they have large festivals in the center of their downtown cores. Keane says if someone wants to get married on a train, or throw some kind of party, they need to understand that all of the regular rules like no food, or drinks must have lids would still apply. Keane says the answer isn't necessarily no.

"They are taking requests, and they will look at each individual request. So it could be something they would look at but it doesn't mean we've said yes or no to anything just yet."

One other group that has contacted the FDOT about extra service is the Orlando Magic. The team is considering whether or not to pay for an extra train that would run after home games since the last train in the current schedule leaves before Magic games typically end.

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